The first 1872 Cup match between Glasgow and Edinburgh has been postponed after four positive Covid-19 tests in the Warriors’ squad.
The Warriors’ Heineken Champions Cup game against Lyon at Scotstoun on Saturday had already been cancelled. 20 Glasgow players were forced into self-isolation after a coronvirus outbreak at Exeter Chiefs, who they played last weekend.
Four Glasgow players have tested positive from a routine testing session on Wednesday, and meeting with Edinburgh set for Sunday December 27 has been postponed.
A further round of testing today (Friday) is anticipated may uncover more positives as the incubation period for infection of the virus continues.
‘Murrayfield game still on – for now’
The second 1872 Cup game at BT Murrayfield, scheduled for January 2, remains on at present, although further testing of the squad may yet put that fixture under threat. A 10-day isolation period in addition to the close contact isolation is required before infected players can be cleared to rejoin training.
A statement from the club read: “The club has four confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, amongst the group of 20 players that are already in self-isolation, and the results of another round of testing this morning are pending.
“This follows the cancellation of the Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Lyon, which was also due to be played at Scotstoun Stadium.
“Glasgow Warriors have consulted, and sought the support of, Scottish Rugby’s Threat Management Group over the postponement of the game.
‘PRO14 deemed this fixture cannot go ahead’
“In addition, having considered all the available evidence, the PRO14 Rugby Medical Advisory Group has deemed that this fixture cannot go ahead as scheduled.
“PRO14 Rugby will examine potential dates in early 2021 to reschedule the game. At this stage, there is no impact on the second 1872 Cup fixture, scheduled for Saturday 2 January at BT Murrayfield.
“Glasgow Warriors continue to operate an extensive health and safety coronavirus mitigation plan and follow all respective public health guidance aligned through Scottish Rugby’s Threat Management Group.
“The club and Threat Management Group have reviewed the stringent COVID-19 protocols that are in place and commend the Glasgow Warriors players and staff who have been exemplary in following these through recent challenges.
“To respect medical confidentiality Glasgow Warriors will not name the individuals affected.”
The blow for Glasgow is that although their own protocols have been stringent and held well through four and a half months since the team returned to training after lockdown, contact with another team with infected players has proved to be so disruptive.
Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup match with Lyon will likely to be awarded to the French club as a 28-0 win by the match resolution committee under the competition rules. That will effectively end the Warriors’ chances of qualification for the latter stages of the tournament.
The first 1872 Cup match will be rescheduled later in the season, although with a congested fixture programme it will be tricky to find a clear weekend when the game can be played.